This is the final post in a three-part series on making money with online courses.
You’ve spent months hunched over a computer like a mad scientist fiddling relentlessly at the perfect creation.
There’s been what feels like a lifetime of research. Then there was the writing, tweaking, rewrites, shooting and editing.
Until, finally…behold! It is done.
Your winning online course is complete after having poured everything into it.
All that’s left is to stand back and bask in its brilliance and wait for the sales to start coming in, right?
Creating your masterpiece was just the first step. Now you have to promote and sell your online course.
Creating and selling online courses
It’s been a few weeks since you’ve launched your online course, and the euphoria has faded.
It’s been replaced by a feeling in the pit of your stomach, and a question you’re terrified to even whisper.
“Why isn’t my online course selling?”
Meanwhile, you notice that people far less experienced in your niche are having extraordinary success with their courses!
You don’t usually give into pangs of professional jealously, but you’re scratching your head at how this is even possible. When it comes to, let’s say, web design for bloggers, you wrote the book on the subject. How can someone come from behind and lap you like Usain Bolt? That ain’t right!
Well, we’re going to let you in on a little secret. While quality is crucial to the success of an online course, even more important is understanding how to market an online course.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your online course is. If your marketing is weak, no one will know what you can do for them.
Even though it may have felt like giving birth to an elephant, building your online course is only one part of the success formula. You need to roll out a marketing strategy that will put your work of brilliance in front of the right eyes.
Using video to launch an online course
Right now, you’re sitting on one of the most powerful resources to help your sell your online course.
Here’s a hint: you probably used it to create the course in the first place.
That’s right. It’s video!
With more people than ever watching videos across digital platforms, it’s the perfect way to build buzz about your online course.
The right video marketing strategy can help you get more students enrolled. That’s what will make a true success of your online course.
So, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can weave video into the marketing strategy for your online courses.
Promo video to advertise your online
Given that the objective is to build buzz over your offer, the first port of call should be a promo video.
In this video, you’ll hit on the pain points of the audience you’re trying to attract. It should demonstrate an understanding of what your potential students are going through or what they would want most.
People are more interested in outcomes than actual courses. Your promo video will explain to potential students how it will transform them.
Your promo video also needs to echo the words already circulating in viewers’ minds, helping you to connect instantly with them.
Browsers on the prowl for online courses to tune up their career prospects are swamped with choice. Often the deciding factor is the connection you’re able to make with them. This is important in an online environment where there is quite a bit of scepticism.
Online buyers aren’t sure who can be trusted. This makes them leery about purchasing from the unknown.
When a potential customer is auditioning an online course, their first consideration isn’t always money. They want to get a sense that it will be worth their time and will deliver on what it promises.
A promo video will start audiences thinking about how the lessons in your course can improve their lives in some way. You can use this video on your landing page, on your social media channels or as a Facebook or YouTube ad.
Course overview video
With so many people offering e-learning products today, you have to go the extra mile to show your customers why yours is the right choice.
A promo video offers insights on how your course give students the growth they’re looking for. The overview video, though, takes it a bit further with a more in-depth look under the hood.
An overview video is, ostensibly, a walk through of your online course. In it, you can identify your lessons and how they specifically tackle the needs and pain points of your audience.
Your overview video should ferry viewers on a short trip through how your online course will take the student from point A to B with a specific outcome at the end.
Potential students need to be shown that this transformation is entirely possibly by soaking up new knowledge, new techniques and new ways of doing things.
This overview video is immensely helpful in steering course-shopping customers towards making the choice that’s right for them; which should be your course…of course!
Video series with helpful tips
There are millions of entrepreneurs online, all of them competing for the favour of customers. That means you have to put in the work to show why you’re worth getting to know.
It’s important to really vibe with your target audience and build a case in their minds why you’re the one with the answers they need. You have to demonstrate an understanding of who they are and how you can help them.
Nothing cuts through the jungle thicket of online competition like content showing off your expertise. The video tip series is an indispensable strategy for marketing online courses.
Offering tips or advice in your niche is the perfect way to establish industry cred with people you want to usher into your virtual classroom. Such videos showcase your expertise to be teaching the subject of your online course.
The video tip series serves another crucial purpose.
In the world of online marketing, customers often need several ‘touches’. What this means is you will have to connect with them several times before they pull the trigger and buy from you.
A video tip series sharing useful information in a quick and easy way can help coax indecisive buyers into taking the plunge and enrolling with you.
The live webinar or masterclass
There are few sales tools out there more powerful than the live webinar or masterclass to advertise courses online. For your purposes, they take the customer on a journey of discovery that, ultimately, ends with them making the choice to continue their learning with you.
Webinars and masterclasses come in all sorts of colours and flavours. The best ones identify a problem and offer some solutions. They also share a few proof-in-the-pudding case studies and then invite attendees to continue their learning journey by signing up for your course.
The live webinar or masterclass gives you the opportunity to do a deep dive on topics your ideal customers need to know about. That’s often what gets your prospective students over the buying finish line.
What we particularly like is viewers can see you and feel your energy and emotion in a live setting. You can interact with them in real time answering questions and sharing your experience in greater detail.
Additionally, a live webinar or masterclass is usually hitched to a limited time offer. This creates a sense of urgency in the attendees to buy into your online course.
This webinar or masterclass can also be available for a limited time as a replay, giving you second bite at the cherry.
Automated webinar or masterclass
So, as we’ve already illustrated, the live webinar or masterclass is tremendously effective at making deeper connections with prospective students for your online course.
To sell a course, you can also use an automated webinar or masterclass. This way you get a longer life span out of your live content as viewers can catch up with it when it’s convenient for them.
So, the automated webinar or masterclass isn’t live but prerecorded. As such, they are timeless and give you the option to expand your potential reach to more customers. You can connect with them through this automated webinar or masterclass wherever they are and whenever they have the time to take it all in.
There’s a significant advantage over the live version here; by automating your webinar or masterclass, you don’t have to worry so much about ensuring everyone you want to attend can all show up at the same time.
The automated webinar or masterclass, while it does require a bit more work to set up, is a sort of set it and forget it marketing strategy. Once it’s created, they can be bringing in revenue in the background while you’re busy building your next online course.
Both the live and automated webinar and masterclass videos are perfect for establishing your credentials and reeling audiences in with useful information. They are tremendously effective at convincing participants to take the next logical step and register with your online course.
Make video a part of your online course marketing strategy
The universe doesn’t exist where you can upload a course online and students turn up in droves with credit cards at the ready. It sounds like a wonderful place, but that’s only in our dreams.
Video has long proven its effectiveness at spreading brand awareness, proving our credibility, showing our personality, making connections and whipping up interest in businesses. That’s why you should lean on the camera to spread the word about your online course.
Now, even though this blog opened with the suggestion that you’ve already completed the course, this was really just a literary device.
Nothing’s wrong with creating videos to market your course after it’s completed. Still, you’ll get much better results if you roll out some of that video marketing content before the course is finished.
This way you’ll have had a greater build up to the big launch. So when you hit that launch button, you will already have gathered thousands of intrigued followers. They are more likely to have an interest in signing up for your training.
An online course will not sell itself…because it’s not chocolate. Video, though, is a great way to stoke interest in your skills that can, ultimately, improve the lives of your students.
That’s what it’s all about. Using what you know to help others.
But you can’t help if they don’t know about your course. So get started sketching out those marketing videos!
Read the other blogs in this three-part series:
Part 1: How an Online Course Saved Our Struggling Business
Part 2: How to Use Video to Create a Successful Online Course
Sign up for our camera confidence course to learn how to be great on camera to win the online marketing war.